With an industry as vast and incredibly nuanced as cinema, there are bound to be overlooked masterpieces. Be it due to a lack of marketing, or perhaps just distractions elsewhere in the industry, these gems simply didn’t get the attention they deserved. 

As sad and frustrating as this is, more often than not the overlooked films manage to gather a cult following. But, had events played out differently, these cinematic achievements may have been stealing headlines, rather than having to settle for cult infamy.

Either way, here are some excellent films that deserve a look, even if they aren’t being widely praised.

Annihilation

After being dumped on Netflix in 2018, likely because no one involved knew quiet how to market it, Annihilation is best described as a completely mishandled science fiction gem. Its biggest flaw, at least as far as general audiences are concerned, is that it features a vague, often confusing plot. This narrative approach is, however, completely in line with the story, which involves an exploration team heading into an atmospheric alien bubble, in-side which time and logic break down.

Something like David Lynch mashed together with Alien, Annihilation is grotesque, deeply disturbing, and riddled with horrific imagery, but far deeper than a common movie viewer will assume. Movie gourmets, on the other hand, will find something to truly sink their teeth into. 

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Dark City

As many well-read movie lovers will already know, before there was The Matrix there was 1998’s Dark City. Though, as far as heady themes and deep narrative exploration go, The Matrix can best be described as a children’s version of Dark City.

The levels of mind bending philosophy explored in this absolute science fiction masterpiece cannot be understated, and although it has become widely recognised as an absolute gem today, it still has not received the levels of praise it really deserves. As The Matrix trilogy has slowly gathered more scrutiny over the years, Dark City has only shined brighter.

Turbo Kid

As 80s nostalgia has all but consumed entertainment, Stranger Things managed to be elevated to a Netflix pedestal. However, many overlooked a film that was just as delightful, if not more delightful; Turbo Kid. 

A true homage to the 80s nostalgia genre, managing to be both steeped in cartoonish gore and pleasantly touching, there are few films that manage to achieve what Turbo Kid pulls off effortlessly. Sadly, it went so under the radar that few even know it exists. But, as word gets around, there is almost no question that this so far lost gem will stand as an overlooked classic.

Dredd

Although having gathered up a loyal fan base since release, Dredd all but originally fell flat and died at the 2012 box office. But upon closer inspection this violent, darkly humorous adaptation of the Dark Horse character is a true comic book masterpiece.

Sure, it isn’t as flashy as an Avengers epic, but it does justice to the character where other film attempts have failed miserably. Expect plenty of slow motion gore, deeply interesting characters, and more than a few gun battles that end in explosive headshots.

All in all, as far as true to the source material comic book movies go, this is certainly in the top 5.

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Lauren Sanchez - Author

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